When I was in 7th grade, I had a hard time finding books. Being from a rural elementary school in Tennessee, our library was neither large nor well funded. However, we did have a librarian who cared enough to help me feed my voracious appetite for books–especially science fiction and fantasy.
One day, I walked in and saw three new books on the cart. Dragonsong, Dragonsinger, and Dragondrums by Anne McCaffrey. They were thin hardcovers, and the art depicted a girl with tiny dragons flying around her.
I had to read them.
And read them, I did. I finished up that trilogy, and then convinced my parents to drive me to the nearest bookstore (a little over an hour away), where they were good enough to buy me everything else that had McCaffrey’s name on it.
I read them all, too. I still have those same paperbacks on the bookshelf in my bedroom. I treasure them. I plan on giving them to my children when they’re old enough. They are artifacts that remind me of the first time that I ever fell in love with an author more than the story being told. I loved her writing. I loved her ideas. I loved her characters.
I can’t say that Anne McCaffrey changed my life. That would be melodramatic. I don’t know if those books changed my reading habits, made me a writer, or anything like that. I just don’t know.
I can say, though, that Anne McCaffrey had an impact on me. So thank you, Anne McCaffrey. Thank you.